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Negligent Truck Driver? Athish Nagarajan and Dhinesh Nagarajan Among 4 killed in Tragic Sedona, Arizona Truck Crash

Posted By Danny Dalton | September 19 2022 | Truck Accidents

*This story has been updated*

Local news reports that around 2 p.m. on Sunday, a tractor-trailer was traveling on I-17 when he got off the interstate near milepost 298 and couldn’t stop. The tractor-trailer drove through a stop sign and collided with another vehicle. Both vehicles were pushed into an embankment where the tractor-trailer landed on the other vehicle causing it to erupt into flames. All four passengers of the vehicle were killed. Due to the intensity of the fire, investigators were not able to immediately determine the victims’ identities. The driver was uninjured and told investigators that his brakes failed and he couldn’t stop.

On 9/20/2022, state troopers identified the four victims that were tragically killed in the accident. Athish Nagarajan, 24, was the driver from Tempe. Dhinesh Nagarajan, 23, was also from Tempe. Gnanappan Nagarajan, 53, and Vijaya Lakshmi-Gopal, 45, were family visiting from India.

What Causes Tractor-Trailer Brakes to Fail?

Truck driver error, manufacturing defects, design defects, overloading a truck beyond its capacity, or improper maintenance could cause this tragic accident. In this case, there was a truck “runaway” ramp on I-17 before the exit where the incident occurred. It is unclear if the truck driver was aware of the break failure before passing the runaway ramp. It is important to take immediate action to determine the cause of the accident before evidence can be destroyed. Some are skeptical of tractor-trailer brakes failing without driver error, lack of maintenance, or a defect.

Steps to Take in Litigating a Truck Accident Case:

Legal contributor Attorney Brian Mickelsen, an experienced truck accident lawyer, represents victims injured or killed in semi-truck accidents. Below, Attorney Mickelsen shared his insight into the legal options available to victims injured in commercial truck accidents.

  1. Preserve and collect relevant evidence as soon as possible. This includes, but is not limited to, dash cam footage, witness statements, video, photographs, tire marks, black box data, and so forth.
  2. Retain an expert to inspect the scene of the accident and the data in the commercial vehicle.
  3. Obtain a copy of the accident report and speak with the witnesses and responding officer.
  4. Collect medical records and bills and ensure the injured party gets the needed treatment.
  5. Identify and research the at-fault driver, the owner of the commercial vehicle, the employer of the at-fault driver, and all other relevant parties.

An experienced attorney at Mickelsen Dalton LLC can help determine if you have a claim and advise you of your options. Our attorneys have successfully represented several victims in cases arising from trucking and towing accidents. Within the past three years, Mickelsen Dalton LLC has recovered over $40 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We have been featured in Fox News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and several other national news organizations.

Anyone may contact our attorneys for a free consultation at (843) 804-0428 or (678) 641-9054 or by email at


Past results are not a guarantee of future results. The information contained in this post is from news articles and may therefore contain inaccuracies. We will correct or remove this post upon request. The material contained in this post is not intended to constitute legal advice.

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